The Willis

Geek rock, whether by über-nerds like Weezer or more abstract purveyors of insignificant detail like Pavement, has rarely transcended the jab that it's music for and by losers, soundtracks for the dateless--in the end, guy music. The Willis seems fine with that. The five Wisconsin natives who make up this band easily fit within the nerdy confines of their own unhipness while celebrating a lifestyle that gives more weight to getting high with Saturday Night Live's Jimmy Fallon than scoring with even the most righteous babe. As a bonus, Bathtub, Light Bulb, Heart Attack rocks viciously, presenting its nerdish sentiments as unapologetic slabs of arty punk, like some mutant melding of XTC and X.

Besides a roaring deconstruction of "Good Vibrations," this debut centers around the hilarious "Jimmy Fallon: The Plan," where singer Stephen McCabe dreams up a chance meeting with Fallon where they all "get high... in Rockefeller Center" and proceed to make a demo that might get them on SNL. The song, like the entire album, is a glorious mess, a cheesy new-wave wink to inanity that confuses in the most offhanded and enjoyable manner conceivable.


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